Can I Drink Lemon Water While Breastfeeding?

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Written by Gina Wagg BA, Dip.

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Hot or cold — lemon water is beneficial and a refreshing drink. But can you have a glass of lemon water after giving birth?

Lemon has no reported adverse health effects during lactation nor does lemon water. However, if you have any gastric conditions like acid reflux, you should talk to your doctor first before drinking.

Find out its promising health benefits, what else you can add to your water, and more below!

Is It Safe to Drink Lemon Water When Breastfeeding? 

There are no scientific studies suggesting that lemon water might negatively impact lactation. However, if you know that you already suffer from any gastric symptoms such as GERD or an upset stomach, it might be a good idea to check with your doctor before trying lemon water, since it tends to be rather acidic.

Lemon water, for the most part, only contains water and lemon slices or lemon spritz. Some people add actual lemon juice to their water. 

Lemon water only has traces of calories. Its carbohydrates mainly come from fibers and simple sugars mainly fructose, sucrose, and sucrose (source: Institute of Food Technologists). 

These calories are considered negligible because they aren’t enough to make changes in the body. This means that unless you eat the lemon or add sugar or honey to your lemon water, a glass won’t contain enough calories to break a fast. 

Lemons contain flavonoids. These flavonoids have reported biological functions, antioxidant, radical scavenging, and anti-inflammatory properties. 

lemon water in a glass and fresh lemons

According to a study through experimentation on mice, it has been shown that flavonoids can protect against cardiovascular diseases, inflammation, obesity, and help with glucose tolerance, and reduce insulin resistance (source: NIH).

Vitamin C is important during lactation by exhibiting antioxidant defenses, fighting free radicals, collagen synthesis for repair, and dietary iron absorption (source: NIH). 

Lemon in lemon water also contains 53 mg of vitamin C content and 138 mg of potassium (source: USDA).

Potassium is essential during the process of breastfeeding because it helps counter the effects of high sodium, eliminate the excess, and reduce blood pressure (source: Harvard T.H. Chan).

Regarding acid reflux, if it is caused by low acidity in the stomach, lemon water can be beneficial with its possible alkalizing effects. 

glasses with lemon water

According to research, lemon juice, should you choose to add it to your water, can also help prevent stomach cancers and other damaging conditions.

Lemon juice may be very acidic, but when mixed with water in small quantities, can help neutralize stomach acid because of its alkalinizing potential (source: ScienceDirect).

Be that as it may, this has not been completely proven as lemon juice is acidic at a pH of 3, and water is at a pH of 7. This implies that lemon water is neither alkaline nor acidic.

Thus, some people may find lemon water helpful for acid reflux, while others find it to be the cause of more problems (source: MedicalNewsToday). 

Lemon water is also reported to be beneficial in good digestion, hydration, and weight loss (source: Cleveland Clinic).

For this, we recommend talking to your doctor if you have gastric issues before drinking lemon water.

While many believe in the myriad benefits of the consumption of lemon water, there are others who think otherwise.

Some scientific studies showed that cancer cells like to thrive in acidic environments. Consuming an alkaline diet is considered to counter this.

However, most of these studies are done on a petri dish. Food also could not alter the pH of the blood (source: MD Anderson Cancer Center). 

In the case of lemonade (when lemon juice is added with water and sweetener), it is also safe during lactation but we don’t recommend adding too much sugar or other sweeteners. 

Can I Drink Ginger Lemon Water When Breastfeeding? 

Lemon and ginger together are often mixed for good reasons.

One research showed that a lemon and ginger concoction gave considerable initiation of cancer cell apoptosis (cell death) and suppression of cancer angiogenesis (formation of blood vessels) (source: NIH).

lemon water with ginger and honey

In another study, ginger and lemon juices exhibited antioxidant functions and prevented induced liver damage. The bioactive compounds in both might be explored as alternative treatments for chronic liver diseases (source: Antioxidants).

According to another research, drinking ginger increased the breastmilk volume in 30 women for 6 days out of 7 days compared to the placebo group and there were no side effects recorded (source: PubMed).

Ginger lemon water can be hot or cold, depending on your needs or preference. But do remember that ginger can be spicy and lemon, acidic, and both might upset the stomach for some.

Can I Drink Honey Lemon Water When Breastfeeding?

Honey is a strong no for infants because of botulism that can be transmitted directly and not through breast milk (source: NIH). Lactating moms, on the other hand, can safely have it in their lemon water.

Lemon water might just be the most affordable beneficial drink that you can have, provided you can tolerate it well. We hope you found this article helpful!